Business World

Friday 22 February 2019

Yellen doing the right thing as Fed chief – Summers

Boeing's Washington facility. Photo: Jason Reed
Boeing's Washington facility. Photo: Jason Reed

Michael Riley and Jeff Kearns

FEDERAL Reserve chair Janet Yellen is generally taking the right approach in continuing efforts to boost a tepid US economic recovery, former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said yesterday.

Mr Summers, who had sought the post Ms Yellen assumed earlier this month, said that inadequate demand and slow growth remained the greatest threats to the economy and that the Fed's bias toward expansion was "broadly the appropriate orientation to have".

Asked about any specific disagreements with the policy Ms Yellen laid out in testimony last week to the House Financial Services Committee, Mr Summers said: "It's very hard to judge tactics from the outside."

Mr Summers was in the running last year to succeed then-Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, whose eight-year tenure ended on January 31. He withdrew his name from consideration in September, before Ms Yellen was nominated by US President Barack Obama.

The former Treasury Secretary told CNN that, while he is less optimistic about the economy now than two months ago, he still sees growth of about 3pc even after two "soft" employment reports.

Irish Independent

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